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View Diary: Remembering Gettysburg, 150 Years On (76 comments)

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  •  My great-grandfather was at Spottsylvania (2+ / 0-)
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    onanthebarbarian, Notthemayor

    Courthouse (the Battle of Laurel Hill) as a Colonel of 7th Maryland Volunteers. I have his 50 page memoir, written many years later and transcribed by his grandson.

    Unlike in movies, the army had already figured out that leading an infantry charge from the front against entrenched armed troops was folly, and it was more typical to urge the troops forward from behind, with the bugler to signal instructions, because if the lead officer was shot, the regiment would have no leader and be in disarray. And besides, horses were valuable.

    But getting ready to charge up a hill against the rebs, the regiment was already in disarray, so in spite of everything, he mounted his horse and "trooped the line", encouraging the soldiers to make speed up the hill, shoot carefully and not relent. And he assumed position in front of the ranks, raised his sword and gave the order to charge from out front.

    He (and his horse) where shot down 30 yards from the breastworks and he was captured, still alive but injured.
    His horse died protecting him from more rifle fire. While in Confederate custody he was treated relatively well, though his gold watch was stolen.

    He was exchanged about a week later, and two years later as a lawyer in Baltimore his watch arrived in the mail with an apology for having taken it, that that action was "unseemly"...

    He was awarded a significant medal for bravery for his actions, and now his G-G-G Grandson, my son, having heard the stories growing up in a military family, is now a Special Forces Green Beret Combat Medic, just back from Afganistan having helped a lot of wounded and injured...and 150 years ago seems like just the other day...

    Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

    by blindcynic on Wed Jul 03, 2013 at 07:46:31 PM PDT

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    •  What a great thing to have in the family! (0+ / 0-)

      And my thanks to your son and your g-g-grandfather for their service.

      "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

      by Notthemayor on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 01:37:06 AM PDT

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